Day in and day out, we are hammered by expectations, judgements, and obligations. As can be expected, we sometimes make mistakes. We fail. And during those times, we beat ourselves up – some more than others.
If you find yourself beating yourself up for whatever mistake you’ve made, maybe you should ask yourself this question: “Do I lack self-compassion?”
What is self-compassion?
What exactly is self-compassion? At its core, it is being loving and kind to yourself. It is the habit of cutting yourself some slack when needed. It is knowing your worth, and understanding that bashing yourself is not healthy.
Are you lacking self-compassion?
So, are you lacking in self-compassion? Some things you can ask yourself to determine this:
- How do I tend to talk to myself when I make a mistake? What words do I use?
- How do I think when I’m feeling low? Do I wallow, or do I see the positives?
- How do I behave during tough times? Do I keep a strong face and have a “never let other people see me weak” attitude?
- When I feel emotional pain, how do I react?
Here’s a test, which incorporates those questions, which you might want to take to determine your level of self-compassion.
Tips to develop self-compassion
How did you do on the test?
If you find that you are lacking, here are some tips on how to develop self-compassion.
- Acknowledge your mistake, and then let it go. I admit this easier said than done, but if you keep trying to do this, it will become a habit. Each time you make a mistake, remind yourself that it’s okay. Tell yourself that people make mistakes, and accept that. After that, decide to leave it in the past and move on. The world will not end because of it.
- Focus on the moment, and don’t worry about the future. One of the things that lead to lack of self-compassion is that people tend to look to the future – in a negative way. They tend to worry about the “what ifs” because of their mistake. Instead of doing this, focus on the here and now. Go back to point one, and then move on.
- Talk to yourself kindly and gently. People who lack self-compassion are hard on themselves, and talk to themselves harshly. Strong, negative words usually run amok in their heads. Instead of going this route, why don’t you try to talk to yourself using kind, understanding words? Use a gentle tone, and truly let yourself know that, while you’ve messed up, you are not a bad person. Treat yourself how you would treat a friend whom you are trying to comfort.
- Pick a mantra, and repeat it when you start bashing yourself. There are a lot of positive affirmations that you can use to chase away those bashing moments. Pick one, and start repeating it over and over again until you get past the bashing point.
- Seriously, cut yourself some slack. How easy are you on your friends and loved ones when they make mistakes? Don’t you cut them some slack? Do the same thing with yourself.